The increasing burden of inflammatory bowel disease

Edward V Loftus
Med J Aust 2021; 214 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51001
Published online: 3 May 2021

Until we reach “prevalence equilibrium”, even small increases in incidence eventually result in higher prevalence

When I attended medical school in the 1980s, we were taught that ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease were conditions seen in white people in highly developed regions such as northern Europe, the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth nations, and North America. Over the past four decades, the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) across geographic regions and ethnic groups has risen sharply.1 The global burden of IBD, which can substantially reduce quality of life, is clearly increasing.2 Patients with IBD often require expensive medications or procedures,3 have higher rates of anxiety and depression,4 and are more likely to have disabilities.5

  • Edward V Loftus

  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States of America


Competing interests:

I have provided consultation services to AbbVie, Amgen, Allergan, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol‐Myers Squibb, Celgene, Celltrion Healthcare, Eli Lilly, Genentech, Gilead, Iterative Scopes, Janssen, Ono Pharma, Pfizer, Takeda, and UCB. I have received research support from AbbVie, Amgen, Bristol‐Myers Squibb, Celgene, Genentech, Gilead, Janssen, Pfizer, Receptos, Robarts Clinical Trials, Takeda, and UCB. I am a shareholder in Exact Sciences.


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